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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie little changed as trade and Brexit worries weigh

The UK benchmark index has been little changed on the last trading day of the week, pressured by worries over the trade relations between the US and China as well as Brexit concerns. In individual FTSE 100 movers, SSE (LON:SSE) is underperforming the FTSE 100 after posting a trading update.

FTSE 100 little changed

As of 12:39 GMT, the Footsie had given up 14.04 points to stand 0.20 percent lower at 7,079.54, extending the previous session’s hefty losses. Sentiment has been subdued following news that US President Donald Trump did not plan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for a trade deal.

“Whilst this is a bit of a blow, it’s not in itself a reason to think trade talks are not going anywhere,” Neil Wilson, analyst, said, as quoted by Reuters.

SSE shares head south

In individual blue-chip movers, SSE is underperforming the broader UK market after trimming its earnings forecasts in the wake of an EU court ruling which suspends state aid for the UK’s energy capacity market.

“SSE has delivered an impressive flow of dividends for shareholders, but the fact it hasn’t always covered the payout with its earnings or cash flows means there have been lingering doubts over its future for some time,” commented George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented as quoted by Proactive Investors. “The dividend looks OK for now, but only because it was cut in advance of the planned departure of the retail business. SSE’s shares are changing hands 0.81 percent lower at 1,164.00p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.24 percent down at 7,076.82 points as of 13:15 GMT on Friday, 08 February 2019.

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